Who we are
Want to get to know us a bit better? Take a couple of minutes to watch our short film, ‘We Are Red Ladder’. This is what we’re about; the power of theatre – in our communities, for everyone.
Red Ladder is a radical theatre company with 50 years of history. The company is acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing new theatre, contributing to social change and global justice. Red Ladder is funded by Arts Council England and by Leeds City Council.
Founded in 1968 in London, the company has a colourful history rooted in the radical socialist theatre movement in Britain known as agitprop. Born into an era of riots, demonstrations and revolts, Red Ladder has grown up, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century, where it continues to fight, to entertain, and to agitate in as equal measures as possible.
We make theatre about how we live now, and how we hope to live. The world has got to change, and the future is not yet written. The shared experience of theatre is about transformation and imagination, where we can collectively invent a better, kinder, fairer way to be.
We make theatre that gives a platform to voices that are rarely heard, and stories that are overlooked. Plays that invite you to lean in, identify, punch the air, laugh with the stranger next to you, cry in the dark, and want to take action.
We make theatre in Northern England but our world is huge and we can soar across borders. We are forward-looking, but not forgetful. We are full of heart, humour and big ideas.
We make new plays, empowering, supporting and inspiring writers and theatre artists to tell stories that start on their (often Northern, often working class) doorsteps and take radical leaps of imagination, challenging the systems that marginalise and oppress, and make inclusive, inquisitive, embracing, bracing, laughing, crying, thinking, drinking, dancing, singing theatre.
We will go wherever the audience is – to pubs and clubs, to housing estates and to theatres with velvet seats. We’ll meet you there, for a good night out that ends with you stepping back out into a world that now feels different, full of possibility, and capable of transformation. And has you singing all the way home.
Our work tours nationally and also we have curated a local circuit of non-theatre spaces such as working men’s clubs, sports and socials and some community spaces.
Are you a company planning on touring to non-traditional theatre spaces? We have published a ‘how to’ guide for companies wising to create their own local touring circuit here.